Imagine Gnats Sewing: Summer Shorts and Tanks

I’m over on the Imagine Gnats blog today sharing my favorite summer outfit for the boys. I knew that I wouldn’t have a ton of time to complete this project after we got back from our trip, so I actually sewed this up before we left…That’s over a month early on a project!! For procrastinator me, that’s like crazy-talk. Here’s a sneak peek of Eliot’s outfit, but you’ll have to go to Rachael’s blog to see the pics I got of the boys together in their somewhat matching outfits (yes, I’m that mom 🙂 )Summer Shorts and Tanks (3 of 8)

Anyway, it’s been so hard to sit on it for a month and not share it with you, but today is the day! Head on over here to see all the pictures and read about all the details of the outfits. Hope you love it as much as the boys and I do!

A Tank Top for a Two-Year-Old

Well we are back from our epic adventure (check out #CrooksEuropeanHoliday on IG) and just in time for Eliot to turn two. We were all having a bit of a rough re-entry this week between some digestion issues and general travel fatigue and I felt bad that Eliot’s birthday was going to pass without much notice. Thankfully, I got some energy back just in time to make him his birthday tee!

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I used the Titchy Threads Twisted Tank pattern (except in the non-twisted version) in a size 2T for this tank. The fabric is some Girl Charlee knit that I’ve had in my stash for a while. It’s super thin and not the best quality but it works for an easy summer tank top. I free-handed the TWO onto the tank with some fabric paint. At first, I felt bad that it wasn’t a more imaginative stencil but now that it’s done, I think it’s pretty cute.

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I’ve made some other tanks for the boys where I just hacked an exciting t-shirt pattern and I have to say this is so much easier! It’s so nice to have all the arm and neck hole pieces sized for you and not have to do any math or finagling about how much neck to scoop out. I only made the non-twisted version of the tank this time but I’m looking forward to trying the twisted version sometime soon.  two twisted tank (7 of 7)

I made the shirt during Eliot’s nap time and when he woke up, he kept saying “my shirt, Ah-ver (Oliver), my shirt.” Poor kid isn’t used to being the recipient of the handmades. Curse of the second child. Anyway, he was so happy to have his own shirt and had to try it on right away.

two twisted tank (5 of 7)two twisted tank (2 of 7)

We had a very laid back birthday today but it was full of all the things that a two-year-old could want- touch a truck at the downtown market, a visit to the train set at the toy store, ice cream at chick-fil-a…and his own bicycle! So excited to try out a balance bike and see if it lives up to its hype.

two twisted tank (1 of 7)Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy. Can’t believe you’re two already. The past two years with you have been so much fun and I’m so excited to see what this year holds!

Superhero Summer Pjs

superhero pjs (5 of 9)This is my little add-on to the end of Kid’s Clothes Week. I actually finished the shorts during the week but didn’t get the tanks done until after the week was up. A while back on a rare visit to our local big box fabric store, Oliver saw some superhero fabric and asked to get some. So I told him that I would let him come back and pick some out. When I realized he only had one pair of summer pjs, I thought that would be the perfect time for him to go get his fabric. He decided on the Batman and Star Wars fabric. While we were in there, Eliot fell in love with the “ninja” fabric and so I decided to get him some too. Even though he has plenty of pjs, I hate for him to miss out on all the fun. Plus these ended up costing me $3.50 per shorts so for once, sewing was actually the frugal option. 🙂

superhero pjs (2 of 9)I used Dana’s Kid Shorts Made pattern for the bottoms. Eliot’s shorts are 2T and Oliver’s are 4. Oliver’s fit pretty perfectly with enough room to grow over the summer. And Eliot’s fit great with the disposables he wears to bed but are a little snug with the cloth diapers that he wears during the day. Since he’ll be wearing these to bed, that’s not a big deal, but it’s something to keep in mind if I make him any for day wear.

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The tops are the Flashback Skinny Tees. I looked up the tanks I made for the boys last summer (blogged here) and used the same mods. To sum it up- I cut 3/4″ off the arm holes and deepened the neckline in the front and back a bit. I cut the neck and armhole binding 1.5″ wide instead of 2″ like the pattern recommends. Oliver’s is a 4 with a little length and width added to make sure it fits through the summer. Eliot’s is a 2 with just a little extra length.

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superhero pjs (9 of 9)All three of the tanks are made from Robert Kaufman’s Laguna jersey. I love having this on stock for last minute tees. The orange is from fabric.com and the blues are from Imagine Gnats. I had some fabric scraps left from the shorts and appliquéd them to the tanks for a little fun addition.

superhero pjs (8 of 9)superhero pjs (7 of 9)

Once I was finished with these tanks, I realized that I actually own the Titchy Threads twisted tank pattern so I am looking forward to trying that one out later this summer on some other projects I have in mind and comparing that version with my FBST hacked version. But with this, I’m done with pjs for now! The boys should be set through the end of the summer. On to non-nightime related projects.superhero pjs (3 of 9)

Oh and this crazy photoshoot…yeah, still working on getting pictures of the boys together that are even remotely decent…so just embrace the wild, crazy, and little bit fuzziness about it. Just know they really love these pajamas. K, thanks. 🙂

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kcw spring 2015: stormtrooper birthday tee

stormtrooper fb tee (6 of 6)Oliver turned 4 today….sigh. On the one hand, it feels like I’ve been a mom forever, but on the other hand, it feels like just yesterday he was a teeny little baby. Four is just such a big kid age! And while I really am excited to get to enjoy all the fun that comes with the big kid stage, I’m mourning just a bit the loss of my little toddler. Okay, enough sentimentality, on to some crazy cute pictures of this kid. Can you tell Daddy was around to take pictures today? Yeah, maybe one day I’ll have his photog skills.

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The birthday shirt is a tradition around here. And like all good traditions, it’s always made the night before the birth day itself. 😉 In the past, I’ve done mostly traditional number shirts. You can see my previous ones here (three, two, one), but this year I wanted to do something different. Something that would mesh into his every day wardrobe a little easier. So I consulted Oliver, of course. He picked out this navy and red striped knit from my stash for the fabric. (bought on a recent trip to Charleston where I stopped in at Five-Eigths Seams and raided their knit stash. Unknown substrate info except it’s a lightweight jersey knit that feels like mostly cotton with maybe a little bit of spandex).

stormtrooper fb tee (4 of 6)I searched the internets for birthday number tee ideas until I came up with several options for O to choose from. He, of course, wanted all the options so we decided to combine the superhero shirt with the stormtrooper. I used a free stormtrooper printable (found here) and added Superman’s logo to the chest along with the 4. It might not be super obvious that it is a Superman logo, but Oliver gets a kick out it so that’s what counts.

stormtrooper fb tee (5 of 6) The stormtrooper is freezer paper stenciled onto the shirt. Cutting out all those pieces was a bit tedious but I really like the end result. Note on freezer paper stenciling: less is more. I put my paint on a little too thick and the stencil didn’t come off very neatly, so I had to go back with a small brush and touch up a bunch of spots. Ended up being fixable but wouldn’t have been an issue if I had used thinner layers to begin with.

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Pattern is the flashback tee in a modified size 4. I wanted it to be a little looser fit so I added about 1/4″ to the width on both sides when I was cutting it out. I wasn’t thinking and cut off some of the bottom hem to even out the stripes and ended up cutting off too much and making it too short. So I used the same rib knit that I bound the neckline and armholes with and made a binding for the bottom hem. It’s not my fave hem but at least it’s not too short! I must admit to being pretty happy with how well the stripes matched up on the sides and the sleeves!

stormtrooper fb tee (1 of 6)The entire shirt was sewn with my serger so it was a pretty quick sew- made up for the time-consuming stencil. And that wraps up a pretty successful Kid’s Clothes Week. I don’t always get to whole heartedly participate anymore, but I really enjoyed getting into my sewing groove this week and cranking out a bunch of stuff. I’ve got a few more things to show you next week after I put the finishing touches on them.

kid's clothes week

kcw spring 2015: rhino jammies

rhino version (2 of 9)I’m back with another pair of pjs for Oliver. This pair is basically the exact same at the previous pair except for different fabric and the rhino addition. I bought this jersey knit from Imagine Gnats at the same time I bought the deer fabric. She has a great selection of stripes, and I had Oliver look through and decide which stripes were his favorite. I would not have picked the red and grey for him but he loves it.

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Again, flashback skinny tee in a 4T for the top. Coordinating grey ribbing for the neck and sleeve bands. I have yet to hem this version either. My husband just asked me why I never hem the knit tees….ummm, because I’m lazy? lol.

rhino version (3 of 9)I wanted to have some fun with the “wild things” theme for kid’s clothes week so Oliver and I brainstormed different animals until we decided upon a rhino for his shirt. I decided to keep the rhino understated so I just freezer paper stenciled the outline in black fabric paint. I can always go back and fill in the outline if I decide it needs more substance. What do you think? Is it good as-is?

rhino version (7 of 9)

Pants are the fancy pants leggings, yet again. 4t. I used 1.25″ elastic in the waistband this time, and it fit perfectly and gives the waistband some nice structure. For added fun, I rotated the stripes in the bum panel.

rhino version (5 of 9)Oliver’s first comment when trying these pjs on was “these are so cozy”. Score! I think the extra cozy factor is due to the rayon in the jersey. I normally just use cotton/spandex blend jersey but went out on a limb to try the rayon blend this time. It’s a little more slippery to sew with and quite drapey, but once sewn together I was pretty happy with it.

rhino version (1 of 9)

In case you haven’t noticed, we are going super simple on the photo shoots this week. KCW is all about sewing, and that means less time for shoots, so hope the less-than-stellar photography doesn’t bother anyone. Plus, photo shoot with pjs need to involve comfy couches and doggie pillows, right?

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Hope your kcw sewing is going well. I’m loving all the “wild things” I’ve seen so far and am excited we still have 3 more days to go. Next up on my list are some more pjs- but this time summer versions with tank tops and woven shorts…so I am switching things up just a bit. 😉 Can’t wait to show you the fun fabric the boys picked out for these!

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kid's clothes week

kcw spring 2015: hello bear pajamas

hello bear version (2 of 7)

So far I am on a roll this kcw! Eliot has been taking good naps and Oliver is actually spending an hour all by himself for his quiet time! Whew. I have no idea how long this will last so I’m taking full advantage of the sewing time while I can!hello bear version (1 of 7)

Today’s project was one of several pairs of pjs I have planned for Oliver. These pjs are made with some Art Gallery Knit (Hello Bear by Bonnie Christine) that I picked up during Imagine Gnat’s spring break sale. I had Oliver go through the shop’s knit selection and pick out a few prints that he would like for pjs- again, part of my plan to make sure my handmades get worn! I was able to squeeze of these garments from one yard of fabric- love sewing with wide knits. Even with the bit extra priciness of AGF knits, this comes out as a pretty thrifty outfit.

hello bear version (6 of 7)

Tee pattern is the good ol’ Flashback Skinny Tee from Made by Rae. I made a 4T and it fits pretty perfectly. I just realized only have one more size till I size out of my pattern. Going to have to get the larger sizes one soon. Hard to believe my little baby is getting that big. Wah! Oh also, I was going to hem this but I used my serger for the entire construction and was too lazy to change my sewing machine needles and thread for hemming so we’re sticking with the un-hemmed look for now. It’s in, right?

hello bear version (5 of 7)

Bottoms are the fancy pants leggings from Laura at Titchy Threads. I thought about trying to find another legging pattern for the bottoms since I didn’t necessarily need the bum panel for these pants, but I already own this pattern and had the 4t size traced and ready to go so I just went with them. Even without using contrast fabric, I do think that bum panel is pretty cute. My ribbing is pretty thin and doesn’t have great recovery so I inserted some 1″ wide elastic in the waistband to help the pants stay up.

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Oliver requested taking pictures with his daddy’s new Star Wars lego mini fighters. The boys and I picked them out for daddy’s birthday last week and we are all enjoying them. The mini AT-AT is so stinking cute, I might steal it for myself.

hello bear version (3 of 7)

Anyway, these pjs might be a bit of the easy way to fit into the wild things theme for this week, but hey, Oliver picked the fabric himself so can’t blame me. I’m hoping to have some fun with fabric paint and wild things on another pair of pjs later this week. Fingers crossed for continued good sewing time!hello bear version (4 of 7)

kid's clothes week

kcw spring 2015: sunny day shorts

oliver beach bum version (4 of 6)

I am so excited that it’s Kid’s Clothes Week time again! I’ve got a pile of things to finish for Oliver and am hoping to get them all done this week. Mostly basics- the kid only has one pair of summer pjs! But since I know how easy it is to make pjs, I just can’t bring myself to buy him any. I let him pick out some fabric for new ones and plan to get them whipped up over the next few days.

oliver beach bum version (1 of 6)

First off, some new shorts! I have yet to have much success with getting Oliver to wear shorts this spring. He loves to wear his jeans every day- so I’m introducing him to the “jean” (aka chambray) shorts. Chambray used is the Kaufman Union Stretch Shirting– bought from Fabric.com a while back. This is a super lightweight chambray so it’s perfect for summer shorts. The pattern is the free Oliver+S Sunny Day Shorts.

oliver beach bum version (2 of 6)

I used Kristin’s tutorial to add pockets and a drawstring waistband to the shorts. If these look familiar, I made almost the same exact pair for him last year. (blogged here) That pair is too short for him now so he needed another pair. I made the 4T but added 1.5″ to the length because I think they run a bit on the short side. These are now a bit long but at the rate he’s growing, I’d like to give him a little length so hopefully they will fit all summer!oliver beach bum version (3 of 6)

oliver beach bum version (6 of 6)So theme for Spring 2015 KCW is Wild Things…You may think that this has nothing to do with wild animals. Think again. 🙂 I let Oliver pick out the lining fabric (my new trick for getting him to wear his handmades) and he picked out this Dr. Seuss menagerie print- from the Celebrate Seuss line- it has a mix of all the animals and creatures from a bunch of his books. Definitely fits the wild things label!oliver beach bum version (5 of 6)

And a happy dance for new shorts! Here’s hoping for a productive KCW! What about you?What’s on your sewing list this week? Can’t wait to peruse the site’s community pool and see all the fun outfits pop up!

kid's clothes week

Art Museum Easter Outfits

I picked up the Art Museum vest + trousers pattern back in the fall when Oliver+S was running a 50% off sale. I love stocking up on some patterns from my want list during those sales! I hadn’t really given that pattern a second glance when it was released but after seeing Tara’s great buffalo check vest and Gail’s awesome plaid pants, I knew I had to have it for myself.art museums (1 of 9)

Easter is one of the few times a year where I try really hard to get the whole family in new (preferably handmade) clothes. Growing up in the south, the annual Easter dress search was a big deal and it’s kinda fun to continue that tradition with the boys- except not with new dresses obviously. 😉 art museums (7 of 9)

I started on these vests way back in February in order to make sure they were finished by Easter- the winter Kids’ Clothes week theme was upcycling so it was the perfect chance to get a head start! I’ve been working on them in bits and spurts whenever I could fit in some spare sewing time. And I actually finished them two weeks before Easter- a miracle for me. 🙂

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Eliot’s vest is a size 2T and made from an old pair of my husband’s dress pants. The lining is a blue sketch print from my stash.art museums (9 of 9)

Oliver’s vest is a size 4T and is made from an old pair of my dress pants- from way back in my school teaching days. I let him pick out the lining and he decided on a Lorax fabric from my stash- Dr. Seuss is always a great idea. I do think the vest runs a little short. Next time I make one I would probably add a little length so he won’t grow out of it so quickly.  art museums (2 of 9)

Oliver’s pants are also upcyced- another one of my husband’s old khakis. Though I think with his size we are reaching the end of being able to upcycle from old pants! I had to do some major seam ripping of waistband and patch pockets to have enough fabric. After I was all finished, I realized you could still see the needle holes on the front right pant leg. I used all the tricks up my sleeve to remove those marks- finger scrubbing, rubbing with a wet cloth then ironing, and finally rubbing with a white vinegar soaked cloth and a final press with the iron. All that work did help minimize the marks but they did not disappear like I’d hoped. I think that with all the time I spent seam ripping and such, it would have just been cheaper to go buy some khaki fabric- lesson learned for next time.

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Oliver’s measurements put him in the 2T waist with a 4T length. I was afraid to trust the measurements completely so I ended up making him the 3T with 4T length. I ended up cutting them back to the 3T length because they were super long- after reading a bunch of reviews, this seems to be a pretty common theme. I probably could have gone with the 2T width too but this way he’s got some room to grow for a while. art museums (5 of 9)

Have you noticed all the welt pockets- 6 to be exact! Yeah, my first time with welts and that was quite the workout. I managed ok on the vests, and then I realized that my pal Kristin had written up a picture tutorial for the O+S blog so that was super helpful and so I used that when I made the pants- much easier. The pockets all turned out pretty well, if I say so myself. I used the Lorax print for the inside of Oliver’s welts, and he is pretty pumped to have Lorax pants as well as the vest. Anything to get him excited about his handmades!art museums (6 of 9)

Eliot already had a pair of pants to coordinate with his vest and shirt so I decided not to make him a pair. Final handmade tally- 2 vest and 1 pair of pants. The boys’ shirts are from Target, and Eliot’s hat was a steal in the Target dollar bin! They loved wearing the Fedoras and actually managed to keep them on most of the day. Their cuteness was just too much for me!

Lucky Charms Tee x2

Yep, I’m back…new blog post finally…spring puts me in the mood to blog it seems. 🙂 Also more light helps out on the photography front. Though tax season means my good photographer is out of commission so you’re stuck with my not-as-great skills. And Oliver’s favorite new picture face. Don’t know where he came up with that smirk/frown but he makes it every time I pull out the camera lately! lucky charm tees (7 of 7)

I wanted to do something fun for the boys for St. Patrick’s Day this year. BUT I didn’t want to just make a typical shamrock shirt because I have this inner need to be complicated and different. 😉 Both of the boys absolutely love Lucky Charms cereal. I know, I know, how do they even know about that cereal, right? Well it just so happens to be my one sugar cereal weakness and every now and then when I find it on sale, I just can’t resist picking up a box. So, there’s my bad mom confession for today. 🙂

lucky charm tees (3 of 7)I’m trying to be smarter about making Oliver’s clothes because last year he ended up with quite a few things in his closet that he never wore- not cool. Now, I’m involving him in the fabric selection part of sewing his clothes, and so far that’s really helping out with his willingness to wear said items! We decided to make different versions of Lucky’s hat for each boy. Oliver picked out the orange hat for himself, and I decided on the standard green hat for Eliot.

lucky charm tees (2 of 7)The pattern I used for the tees is a version of a raglan tee that I tested a while back for Titchy Threads. The pattern has not been released yet so I don’t have a link of it for you, but I’m pretty sure she’s planning on releasing sometime this year. I actually made the same size for both boys- the 24 month and just added 1.5″ to the length of Oliver’s. O’s ended up a teensy bit short so I left the bottom of his unhemmed.

lucky charm tees (4 of 7)The grey and orange knit solids are Robert Kaufman laguna jersey- love this knit for tees! Green solid is a french terry knit simply because it was the only green knit in my stash- lol. All fabrics were purchased from Fabric.com a while back. I got a 20% off coupon from them and stocked up on a bunch of different colors of those laguna jerseys. It’s so nice to have some in the stash to pull from when I get a project idea. I’m actually running low and need to get some more!

lucky charm tees (6 of 7)I traced the hat stencil freehand onto a piece of swedish tracing paper (risky for me since my drawing skills are not great), then I used that to cut out the pieces onto some Kona cotton, and appliquéd the hats to the tees using some Heat n Bond lite.

lucky charm tees (1 of 7)I love how fun these turned out and the boys do too. In fact, they have worn them several times already in the week since I made them, so I’m calling that a project success!

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Rowan Tee: Take Two

Rowan Tee Pattern Tour

Today I get to be part of the Rowan Tee pattern tour with my second version of this tee. You can see my initial, tester version here. Be sure to check out all the other blogs on the list above for some great tee inspiration!basic tee v2 (2 of 8)

Again, I made the 12-18 month size with no modifications. I used the shoulder stripe, sleeve cuffs, and kangaroo pocket option. Can I just tell you how much I love this kangaroo pocket?! Seriously it’s just so cute. I can’t wait to make another version with the kangaroo pocket and hood! Actually I have 3 or 4 tee variations rolling around in my head right now- just have to find the time to get to them. I mentioned it before, but I will say it again, the thing I love about this pattern is that Laura gives you so many modification and variation options with it. I believe she said there’s 144 different possible combinations! Talk about bang for your buck there!

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The triangle fabric I used for the tee is a now out-of-stock jersey knit blend from Girl Charlee. After the bimaa hoodie I made in this fabric got such rave reviews- blogged here-, I ordered several more yards of it in the various color ways. I really do love how it looks and what cute fabric it is. However, I have to say that this particular fabric does not hold up well to washing and drying- it gets pretty pilly and looks old already- which you can probably see in these pictures. It was my first experience with a cotton/poly blend, and I have decided from now on to stay away from any knits with poly in them.

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This is not to say that my overall Girl Charlee experience has been unpleasant. I have ordered several cotton and cotton/spandex knits from them and been very happy with the result. I just wanted to be honest with you and say that I can’t recommend anything with a poly blend to it. basic tee v2 (6 of 8)

The pocket, shoulder stripe, and cuffs are made from a 1×1 ribbing I picked up at Joann. I like this ribbing because it’s fairly thin and not so bulky as some of the other ones that I have found.

basic tee v2 (4 of 8)I definitely think that this pattern is a basic that everyone needs in their portfolio, if just to have some fun variations on the basic t-shirt. Laura does a great job both on her pattern instructions and in the pattern sizing. You can go buy it here if you are interested. FYI if you sign up for her newsletter, she will be sending out a special discount code for this pattern. I love the fit of this tee on Eliot. And so does he even though he looks fairly serious in these pictures. He takes his modeling job very seriously these days. 🙂basic tee v2 (5 of 8)

PS- I received this pattern for free as a result of testing and blogging about it but all opinions are, as always, 100% my own.